Five weeks after the winter solstice, with the rest of the east coast of the United States reeling from record (or near-record) snowfalls, we got a pleasant 3-ish inches.
We heard lots of birds calling as we paused to notice how much more artful the derelict automobiles look in the snow.
Last week we complained about being chilly, but this week with the clear, sunny skies and the temps near freezing, we worked up a bit of a sweat.
There was still no need for snowshoes this week. We wore our new traction devices on our boots, but it wasn’t really the right conditions for them, and they kept getting clogged. My son especially had trouble with this and two or three times we had to stop and decrease his height by a few inches by knocking the packed snow off of the bottom of his boots. And that would get snow all over the place, including my camera lens because I wouldn’t bother to put away the camera before clearing his boots. This photo happened when I was attempting to clean off the lens.
Once I got the lens cleaned off, I was able to catch some good shots of animal tracks in the new snow. We think these, found on a fallen log, might have been made by a gray squirrel. Or maybe a small raccoon. Or an opossum. Really, we’re not so great at identifying animal tracks, but we really enjoy seeing them.
Once again, we could not see the muskrats. Alas! There might be some under here.
We did encounter a new feature this week: Someone cut a chunk from a pine tree that fell early this autumn and made it into a little chair. I wish I could impart to you the smell of fresh-cut pine around this section of the trail. My son didn’t like it and said it smelled like glue, but the rest of us breathed it in deeply.
“With the big tree fallen, its children can rise up to take its place,” said my daughter, waxing poetic.
I suppose we could take the train to DC and use our snowshoes there, but I think we’ll just wait and see if we get more typical New England weather before the spring peepers start chirping in a little more than a month.